Sunday Scribbles Week 42: The whole city shook beneath her feet… #sunscribbles

Welcome to Sunday Scribbles!

Today marks week 42 of the 52 week writing challenge!

Introductory post: Sunday Scribbles announcement post
Past prompts: Sunday Scribbles past prompts

The prompt for Sunday 22nd October is ‘Whole/Hole’:

ssbanner 22nd Oct Whole

This weeks attempt is a little weird. A giant hole appears in the middle of Times Square…

I’ve been to New York. Times Square was unpleasant. Every few steps we were accosted by ‘Hop on, Hop off,’ bus salespeople and costumed characters! If you get the chance to visit, buy the New York Pass (saves money on admissions) and take a boat ride around the island!

My Attempt:

It was a cold autumn day the day the hole appeared. The earth did not shake. The walls did not tremble. One minute the street was packed with cars, tourists and bus tour salesmen, the next minute a large gaping hole swallowed them all. Over twenty meters across, it sat in the middle of Times Square.

Chaos. Cars fell into the crater. Brakes screeched as taxis tried to avoid the hole. Colourful characters teetered on the edge. Elmo’s wide costumed eyes stared into the sky as he fell backwards, down, down, and out of sight.

Everything ground to a halt and there was silence, until, breaking free from her mother and running to peer over the edge, a young girl asked, ‘What is it, momma?’

Strong arms pulled her back from the edge. ‘I don’t know, sweetie. Stay away from the edge.’

‘Should we call the police?’ a man muttered behind her.

‘My momma is the police,’ the little girl piped up. She looked up at her mother. ‘Show him your badge!’

‘Lucy Jones, NYPD,’ Lucy said, and pulled her badge free from her pocket with a sigh. She picked up her daughter and turned to the assembled crowd. ‘Stay away from the edge.’

Shifting her daughter into one arm, Lucy fumbled for her phone with the other and dialled her precinct. ‘This is Officer Jones. I need squad cars to Times Square…’

‘What’s the situation, officer?’

Lucy glanced behind her and bit her bottom lip. ‘Some kind of sink hole appeared in the middle of the road. It’s chaos…’

‘I’ll send all available officers,’ her colleague replied. ‘In the meantime, try to keep everyone back from the edge.’

Lucy nodded and glanced around. Easier said than done. Two adults and three children stood close to the edge, backs to the hole and selfie stick held high above them. The ground beneath their feet began to crumble.

‘Watch out!’ Lucy yelled, as she waved her badge at them and took a step forward. ‘Stay away from the edge!’

In her arms, her daughter shifted. Lucy hesitated. The ground beneath the tourists cracked.

‘What are you waiting for? Save them!’ a woman yelled behind her.

Lucy flinched, but she remained frozen in place. The tourists flung themselves forward and clung to the edge of the hole.

‘What kind of cop are you?’ a rotund tourist asked, as he chewed on a hot dog and watched the tourists struggle.

‘A mother who’s off duty,’ another female officer replied from behind Lucy. Two further officers rushed to the edge of the hole to help the tourists.

The man muttered and turned away.

‘Thanks Sofia,’ Lucy said. She gestured to the hole. ‘It just appeared out of nowhere. First day off in months…’

‘You should go home,’ Sofia said with a smile. ‘I’ve got it covered, for now.’

Lucy nodded and clutched her daughter to her. ‘Good luck,’ she said, and headed away from the hole.

‘I’ll need it,’ Sofia replied under her breath, then raised her voice. ‘Lucy?’

‘Yeah?’

‘Find care for Maggie. They’ll probably need you tonight.’

Lucy sighed and dug out her phone. ‘Right. Of course.’

Later that evening, with Maggie tucked safe in bed and Lucy’s partner Alex there to watch over her, Lucy headed back to the hole. Quite a few officers remained in the area, and reporters, tourists, and locals milled around behind barriers, set up all along the streets. Cameras ready, they strained on tiptoe to try and get a glimpse inside the hole.

‘Fairly quiet?’ Lucy asked the officer on guard as she flashed her badge.

‘Is now,’ the officer grumbled. ‘Should’ve seen it at rush hour. Chaos. Had to cordon off entire streets to keep curious tourists and crazy conspiracy theorists away.’

‘I can imagine,’ Lucy replied. She ducked under the crime scene tape and headed straight for Sofia, who stood by the barriers closest to the hole. ‘Any idea what it is yet?’

‘Other than a big inconvenience?’ Sofia said with a sigh. ‘Sink hole, maybe? No one saw the ground fall, and it’s so deep.’

‘Maggie thinks it was magic.’

‘Kids, huh?’

Lucy smiled and stepped closer to look into the hole. ‘Lucky it missed the underground.’

‘We’ve closed it as a precaution,’ Sofia said. ‘Coffee shop’s open all night though, if you want something to keep warm.’

There was a flurry of movement across the wall of the hole. Lucy blinked. ‘Did you see that?’ 

‘What?’ Sofia squinted and peered into the hole.

‘Something’s down there!’ Lucy insisted. 

‘I don’t see anything,’ Sofia replied. ‘You sure you’re okay to be here?’

Lucy blinked and looked up at her. ‘I’m fine. Must be my eyes playing tricks. Go. Don’t you have that big date tonight?’

Sofia grinned. ‘Yeah. See you tomorrow. Keep an eye on the hole.’

‘It’s not like it’s going anywhere!’ Lucy replied. She huffed out a breath and stood with her back to the hole, eyes alert for any civilians who might try to sneak closer.

As the night wore on, Lucy glanced a few more times into the hole, but nothing stirred in the inky black depths. By 1am, only a few officers remained, milling around the hole and moving on the occasional drunk who staggered close enough. Even the most determined reporters had left the scene, for although the hole was mysterious in its sudden appearance, it was probably only a sink hole.

Lucy sipped her coffee and stifled a yawn. Something flickered in the corner of her eye, and she turned to glance into the hole.

‘What the…?’

‘What’s wrong?’ another officer asked, as he jogged to her side.

Lucy pointed into the hole, where a large, gloved hand reached up from the depths. Her other hand pulled her gun from its holster. ‘We should be prepared to fight.’

The officer trembled and pulled out his radio. ‘I’ll call it in.’

The large hand scrabbled at the edge of the hole. One of the barriers fell in, and Lucy backed away. Around her, her fellow officers did the same, as, one by one, more hands appeared at the edge of the hole. The whole city shook beneath Lucy’s feet. Out of the hole, a giant head emerged, and a single giant eye spun around to stare at her. 

‘Hold fire,’ Lucy heard a higher ranking officer order behind her.

Lucy nodded and braced herself. The creature emerged, and beside it, two more. Her hands shook. Glancing around, she wasn’t the only one. The creature snarled. An officer whimpered. A shot rang out.

The creature howled as the bullet tore into its shoulder, and it smacked at the officers with a giant hand. Lucy lost her footing and fell to the floor. The giant stalked towards the officer who fired, grabbed him around the middle, and tore him in two.

Bile rose in Lucy’s throat as the creature munched her coworker, and she brought a hand to her mouth as she gulped it back down. Large single eyes spun around the area. Watching them.

‘Tasty,’ the creature said, and gestured to his companions. ‘Try one.’

Lucy scrabbled backwards and flew to her feet as more giant creatures emerged from the hole. She heard an officer give the order to hold their ground, concentrate their fire, but all she could think of was Maggie, at home and safe for now, but not for long with these monsters roaming the street. The stray bullet barely dented the creature. They couldn’t fight this. She had to protect her family.

We’re in a whole lot of trouble,” Lucy thought with a nervous glance at the hole behind her. Her co workers were being tossed around like rag dolls. Barriers splintered into pieces. Lucy turned and fled in the direction of home, phone pressed to her ear and already dialling Alex.

‘Lucy?’ Alex answered through a yawn.

‘Get Maggie and pack our things, we need to leave right now!’

End Prompt.

Thanks for reading!

Lucy believes nothing is more important than protecting her family. She’d rather save them then try to be a hero! I think I’d like to write more about a character like that some day.

Next Sunday’s prompt:

The prompt for 29th October was going to be Fear, but #1linewed beat me to it, so I’ve changed it to ‘Horror.’

ssbanner 29th oct fear2.jpg

In which I attempt to write something scary (and probably fail!) Try to scare me with your stories!

If you try next weeks prompt yourself, let me know how it goes. Post your attempt on your blog on the 29th October, and leave a link in the comments below this post so I can read it 🙂

If you can attempt the prompt in less than 140 characters, you can also #sunscribbles on Twitter. I am super interested to see what you all come up with 🙂

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